I forgot to mention the other wonderful thing that happened yesterday: a parcel arrived from Fuzzle (Ming and Saffy’s previous owner, now living in the UK). In it were a few yummy things (like jaffa cakes, the main thing MrPloppy misses since moving here), and my birthday present (yes, my birthday was months ago, but Fuzzle has always had a random approach to sending birthday and christmas presents – they tend to arrive either months early or months late), which was accompanied by a note saying “every good linguist needs this by their bedside” – it was a copy of Johnson’s Dictionary!!! That probably sounds like a really boring present to most people, but totally fascinating to anyone interested in words – Fuzzle’s note was exactly right, it’s a must-have for anyone interested in linguistics (she studied linguistics too (in fact, we were in the same class for LING 101 – I just got distracted by other things for 15 years or so before I carried on in the subject), so of course knows how special a gift it would be for me).
I spent a long time last night browsing through it, looking up random words (yes, sausage is in there!). Of course, all the well-known funny ones are there (“Lexicographer: a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge”), but the rest of the entries are equally fascinating, both for the information they give you about 18th-century life, and for all the wonderful words that have since disappeared from our language. Definitely linguist heaven 🙂
Currently reading: Legends edited by Robert Silverberg and dipping into the Dictionary.